(Arranged by Lucien Cailliet)

Wagner composed four operas that together are called The Ring of the Nibelungen. Siegfried's Rhine Journey is from the last opera, Gotter-dammerung, or Twilight of the Gods. In The Ring, characters and events are represented by leitmotiv, or short musical passages. Wagner used this compositional technique to unify all four of the Ring operas. The Rhine Journey is a prelude to scene six of the opera. Siegfried and Brunnhilde have at last found each other in godlike love and devotion. Siegfried must now go forth to new deeds of valor. When the scene opens, it is still dark; deep in the lower voices of the brass sounds the awesome Fate Motif, casting that long shadow which follows the curse of the Ring. Gradually it becomes brighter; dawn finally comes, the music swelling in every-increasing power, telling of Brunnhilde and her love for Siegfried. Full day is announced by the challenging horn call of Siegfried. He rises to be off, rearmed with the godly wisdom which Brunnhilde has bestowed upon him. The music increases in intensity and emotional surge, reaching a towering climax at an unexpected change in tonality. Here the motifs of Brunnhilde, Siegfried and Magic Fire thunder forth, intertwining themselves in a rapturous torrent of sound. Siegfried departs on Brunnhilde's magic steed, Grane. The music grows calmer. The motifs of The Rhine and Lust for Gold are heard. Siegfried has gone forth – to his doom. --James Huff 06:27, 23 November 2008 (UTC) (from the program notes of The Claremont Winds, submitted with permission)